Sunday, 31 May 2015

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge | May 31, 2015

6. The City You Live In

I am so blessed to live in Northern Ontario, Canada. This photo is my back yard in the fall time. We have quite a large back yard in a residential area. Our backyard is something I'm so grateful for as I love doing sprint sets back there, I love the huge trees (there's more to the left of the photo frame), I love that we have a swing. The thing I love most about our backyard is that it's so big that our family loves to come over for barbecues. We all sit around the patio furniture and eat off a potluck buffet that we set up in the garage and it makes for a really wonderful time with all my grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins etc.

These two photos were both taken at my old primary school grounds which is only a five minute walk from my house. I'm so grateful that in my city every school has a play ground structure as well as lots of grass and trees. I've always loved to immerse myself in nature and I'm grateful that my city allowed that to happen every day at school.

I took these photos in the down town area of the city. The bridge is actually the International Bridge that connects my city to America. The sunsets are gorgeous. It's always so nice to walk the boardwalk down town in the evening. There is also foot trails along a little island that is only about 12km around. It's always so fun to walk underneath the International Bridge as well as walk over the locks that the boats travel through.

These two photos were taken at two different locations within my city. Both places are ones I visit quite regularly. I'm very blessed to be surrounded by nature. There is a bike/foot path that goes around the entire circumference of my city and these two spots are on that path. I love taking my bike out on the path in the summer and enjoying the full 25km of beauty that is my city. 

Another thing I love about my city is that the highway goes right through it, which means there is another (equally as beautiful) town or little area only an hour away in every direction. Our highway drives are filled with big fields and rolling hills (as pictured on the right). The photo on the left shows my camp. It is only a 45 minute drive away but it feels like a different world. That's the beauty of living in Northern Ontario!

My city is something I'm so grateful for, I love living in Canada. Everywhere I turn I see beauty. I only wish I could find my memory card with the waterfalls by my house on it to share with you!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Friday, 29 May 2015

Food Friday | May 29, 2015

What I Ate Today

7:30am - Breakfast

Today I had my typical morning breakfast of 1/4 cup oatmeal made in 1/3 cup 2% milk, topped with cinnamon and raw cacao bits.

10:20am - Mid-morning snack

Today I worked 9-5 so on my first break of the day I had 1/2 cup multi-grain Cheerios in 1/4 cup 2% milk.

12:50pm - Lunch

For lunch I enjoyed a nice salad made of romaine lettuce, tomatoes, some cubed old cheddar cheese, and 1 breaded grilled chicken breast. I dressed it with a homemade oil and vinegar dressing.

5:30pm - Dinner

Dinner every Friday night is pizza at my house! Tonight we treated ourselves to Little Caeser's three meat hot and ready since for the past few weeks we have made our own pizzas!

I'll probably have a little snack around 7:30pm. Usually I will have some air popped popcorn or a little (and I mean little, like maybe 1/4 cup- it's so incredibly rich) bowl of homemade ice cream!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Thursday, 28 May 2015

Random Thought Thursday | May 28, 2015

May Favs!

As another month draws to a close (where is the time going!?), here I am with another month of favourite things. As the season is changing from winter to spring/summer, I am rediscovering old favourite things as well as finding new favourite things!


I am a big fan of Aveeno products and this moisturizer is at the top of the list for best of Aveeno in my books. I've used the daily moisturizing lotion for probably 2 years now and it has never failed to amaze me. What I love most about this one that I found is that it is SPF 15! I was so pleased to find this as I have a really difficult time finding an SPF that I don't mind wearing.
The second beauty related favourite I have is the Revlon nail enamel in 211 Charming. It is a gorgeous pastel lavender colour. I have been wearing it on my nails almost the whole month; it's the perfect colour for this time of year!
Third in the beauty category is the Essence all about nude palette. When I bought this I didn't have high expectations since it was only $4.99, but I really really actually love it! The pigmentation is great, the shadows are blendable, their longevity is great, and the colours are really nice, subtle colours but have enough pop to them to be great spring/summer eye shadows.
The last beauty related favourite I have is The Body Shop flannel. I have used flannels from The Body Shop for probably close to a year now but it is only in the last month that I have really been experiencing their full potential. Using the flannel with my makeup remover instead of a cotton pad has been so much more effective at taking off a face of makeup. I also really love to saturate the flannel with fairly hot water and just lay it on my face in the bath. I feel like I'm at a spa, the flannel doesn't make me feel suffocated like a cotton cloth would, and it opens up my pores really well!

Fashion & Accessories

I have a really hard time finding sunglasses that fit my small and oddly shaped face/head that aren't from the kids section. I found these aviator style sunglasses in Winners and they have become my favourite sunglasses I've ever owned. I think the gold frames with the dark lenses and pink arms are so cute! They're also from a brand called SuperDry which means that even when you're sweating they don't slide around or feel gross like traditional sunglasses do so they've been perfect for my outdoor workouts!
My oldie but goodie Coach cross body bag makes an appearance every summer. I love having a smaller bag that I can just sling over myself for the summer since I'm doing a lot more activities outdoors. It's got a huge pocket on the front and an identical one on the back as well on top of the main zippered pocket so it is able to fit quite a lot in it! This bag is perfect for summer festivals, art shows, parades, fairs etc.
My last fashion & accessories favourite is my mid rise classic jeans from Forever 21. No surprise at all since I've been wearing them as much as I possibly can! They are just the perfect skinny leg blue jean for every outfit and they fit me so well! They're form fitting enough to look feminine and show off my curves, but baggy enough to be casual and not show every nook and cranny of my lower body. I'm definitely repurchasing these jeans in every colour as they are only $9.90!


The first item in the random category is my Kiristin and Company 100% pure soy candle in the scent Best Friends. I got this candle from my best friend last year as a gift and after last summer I put it away as it's definitely not a warm winter scent. It has resurfaced in the month of May and I have been burning it almost non stop! It's an aromatherapy candle with a hard to describe scent. It's almost like the smell of strawberry Kool-Aid powder (which let's be honest, we all love). It's not sickly sweet which I love and the candle guarantees 100+ hours of burning time- can't be beat!
The second random item I've been loving are floral patterned pencils from Michael's. They are so adorably cute and I can't wait to be using these in class in the fall!
Tomatoes had to make the list for me. I know that's a weird item, even for a random category, but I find myself working tomatoes into my diet every day. I've been adding tomatoes to every salad, I've been roasting them for a side with chicken, I've been juicing them, I've been dicing and cooking them with spices for a lighter version of a spaghetti sauce. You name it, I've been trying it. I am on a huge tomato kick!
Lastly, I love the framed paw print we got from the pet crematorium that we took our dog to after her passing. My mom is a vet so she knows the people at the crematorium very well. They were so sweet to not only do this, but to make 3 of them -one for me, one for my brother, and one for my parents. This is the perfect way to memorialize her and to keep a piece of her in our home always. It was such a sweet gesture by my moms friends during this incredibly hard time of grief.

So that is all my favourites for this month! I hope you enjoyed them, do let me know if you love them too or if there are other things I should try for the month of June!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

What I'm Wearing Wednesday | May 27, 2015


Now that I'm FINALLY off work for the day I have changed into some comfy clothes to go hangout with a couple of friends (yay for social life ha ha ha). I'm wearing my favourite jeans from Forever 21, a black, loose, flowy tank top from Bootlegger and my navy cardigan from Hollister. For a pop of colour I'm wearing my cheap lace flats from Wal-Mart. Accessory wise I've got a rose gold necklace from Chanel and "diamond" stud earrings from Claire's. To finish it off I grabbed my beige, cream and red cross body bag from Coach (the link is to the same bag in a different colour- which I wish the store had as I like the pink better ha ha- I bought the bag 2 years ago so I did the best I could!)

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Chatty Tuesday | May 26, 2015

DIY Project: My Bike

About a month ago I decided that I wanted to over haul my bicycle in time for the summer because I do really love to ride bikes, but mine was needing some TLC. I got the bike when I was 12 (yes 8 years ago, yes it's still in great condition, yes I didn't really grow much). I was a bit of a tom boy at the time where as now I'm definitely not so I had the thought to DIY my bike instead of buying a new one.

This was the bike pre-makeover. It was yellow with way too many stickers on it. My first step was to take off the wheels, brakes and kickstand using a ratchet and a wrench. Honestly, this was the hardest part as the nuts were really adamant about staying where they were. I eventually got them to come off after much kicking of the ratchet handle ha ha ha. 

The next stage was absolutely the most time consuming. I scraped off all the stickers using a screw driver to start. Then I sanded off all the clear coat using an 80 grit sand paper designed for metal surfaces. After the 80 grit I used a 120 to smooth everything out and make an even base for primer. I then washed the whole bike down to make sure there was no residue from sanding. The next step was to tape off all the parts that didn't need paint (brake cables, chain, gears, etc). After everything was taped I did 2 coats of primer, sanded again with the 120, and washed the bike one final time. 

I was then finally able to spray paint! I chose this adorable pale blue colour that I love and did 3 coats of that.

After my 3 coats of paint I was able to remove all my taping and touch up all the areas that were missed. To do this I sprayed some spray paint into a little cup and used a small brush to apply the paint. Once that was dry I wiped down the whole bike with a wet paper towel.

The final step was to put back on the wheels, brakes and kickstand (which I forgot to take pictures of before I took it for a bush ride and got the bike full of mud ha ha ha). I'm really happy with how the bike turned out! It feels great to have done it on my own and it also feels great to be riding a super cute bicycle!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Monday, 25 May 2015

Make Me Up Monday | May 25, 2015

Favourite Nail Polish Colours (Spring)

Sally Hansen Miracle Gel

1. 240 B Girl
2. 480 Wine Stock
3. 410 Wet My Thistle
4. 180 Rosey Riviter

Revlon Nail Enamel

1. 580 Eclectic
2. 211 Charming
3. 715 Privileged
4. 902 Craving Coral


1. Ballet Slippers
2. Minimalistic
3. Turquoise & Caicos
4. Bahama Mama

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Sunday, 24 May 2015

52 Weeks of Gratitude Challenge | May 24, 2015

5: Something Someone Gave You

I'm not one of those people who gets attached to "things" so figuring out something someone gave me that I'm exceptionally grateful for was a little bit of a struggle. After looking around my room at all the tangible items I felt grateful for everything I have but nothing really stood out to me. I moved on to say my morning prayer and that's when it hit me. 

I dated a guy once who showed me Christianity. I was not a religious person before dating him and I doubt I would be a religious person now if we hadn't dated. Having faith has changed my life in so many amazing ways. I was on a little bit of a wrong path before that guy came into my life (we actually met at a party where I was beyond drunk). He never forced anything about religion on me, he made me curious.

Now that I have discovered the power of the Gospel and the way of the Lord, I feel like I'm living the life I was meant to. Seeing how different he and I both are, I strongly feel that he was sent into my life by the Lord to show me this way of life. He gave me my faith and I am unbelievably grateful that he did.

*Just a little disclaimer, I am not the type of Christian that looks down upon those who don't share my beliefs. I realize that nobody knows the truth about how the Earth came to be and nobody knows what happens to us when we die. Christianity found me and drew me in, it's what I choose to believe and if you choose to believe something different than that is fine and I would love to learn about your beliefs as all forms of religion do interest me, this is just the one I have chosen to identify with.*

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Friday, 22 May 2015

Food Friday | May 22, 2015

Bacon Tomato and Italian Sausage Pasta


A bag of whole wheat long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine)
1/2 package organic bacon
4 Italian sausages
6 large ripe tomatoes
1 onion
11/2 tablespoons basil*
1 tablespoon garlic*
3 teaspoons oregano*
1 teaspoon pepper*
1/4 teaspoon salt*
*spices are generally to taste this is just the measurements I prefer


1. Dice tomatoes and onion, cut bacon, slice sausage
2. Add bacon and onions to a medium saucepan, cook half way
3. Add sausage to saucepan, cook almost all the way
4. Add in the tomatoes
5. Add spices and mix well
5. Cover and let simmer while pasta cooks
6. Add cooked pasta to meat and tomato mixture
7. Toss thoroughly 

I love this recipe so much, it's definitely a family favourite. The fresh tomatoes along with the blend of spices make for a really fresh and light dish. Please let me know what you think and if there are any other things you'd add!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Random Thought Thursday | May 21, 2015

Thrift Shopping

There is not many things that I love more than finding a major bargain on an item I really need/want. Thrift shopping has become something I really enjoy over this past year. I love thrift shopping because everything is cheap, you can find good quality items from top brands for a fraction of the price, you can find everything and anything, you can find new things to DIY and make your own, and, as the Duggars say, "buy used and save the difference". For me, thrift shopping just makes sense. Sure I could afford to buy everything new but why would I? If I can find things I love for a lot less money then I'm definitely not going to pay full price somewhere else. 

The first place most people think of when they think thrift shopping is Value Village or something like it. Value Village is great because they have everything, from shoes to clothes to books to home decor to furniture, you can find it at VV boutique. They also have a donation centre which is how they receive all their stock. Whenever I have donations for VV, I always have to take a look inside (and I usually find a great little treasure).

I know Phat Closet is only around my city as it's a private business, but I have seen other stores like it in other cities. Basically, they only take a used item if it is a brand name. They get a lot of Lululemon, Pink, TNA, Coach, Guess, etc. What's unique about this store is that you get paid if you bring in clothes for them to sell. The store will buy your old clothes off of you and give you an in store credit or cold hard cash and then sell those clothes to make a profit for the store. The prices are a little bit higher than traditional thrift shops, but getting a Lululemon sweater for $24.99 is nothing to shake a fist at!

Another place that has amazing thrifting opportunities is an antique shop. What I love most about antique shops is that every item has a story (and if you're lucky the shop owner will know it!) The antique shop pictured above is one down the highway from my city. The building seemingly goes on forever. The main entry way is the locked counter with all the very valuable things. The first room is home decor things and small bits of furniture. The second room is jewelry, watches, scarves, purses, sunglasses etc. The third room is all books. The fourth and final room is wall to wall, floor to ceiling, vintage clothing. Everything is so reasonably priced (usually under $10). My only advice when going to an antique store is don't be in a rush, there are things hiding in every nook and cranny, and if you have the opportunity to hear the old shop owners stories, do stick around.

I do love me a good church sale! Not only is there used items, but there is usually some handmade things by the folks of the church congregation (and more likely than not, some delicious baking by a cute little old lady). Church sales seem to have an amazing fellowship around them. Everyone is finding things that they need/want all while feeling great about spending the money as it goes toward the betterment of the church or a charity organization of the church's choosing.

Lastly, I couldn't not mention garage sales. Some people get excited for the summer because it's wedding season, I get excited because it's garage sale season. You never know what you'll find at a garage sale! It always seems to be the things people don't want anymore but don't have the heart to just throw away, which usually means cameras, electronics, good quality clothes etc. When I see the words 'garage sale' I basically see 'we can't use this stuff anymore but it's still so great that we can't donate it or throw it away so we would prefer that someone bought it from us for a good price' and I definitely don't mind being that someone ha ha ha!

I hope that you like this post! If you are a thrift shopper please let me know if there are places I am missing as I'd love to check them out!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

What I'm Wearing Wednesday | May 20, 2015


This morning I'm heading out to a brunch at 11:00 am so I'm a little more dressed up than usual. I have on a black body-con skirt from Bootlegger with a black and gold belt from Bluenotes. My pink tank with a lace detail is from Ardenes as well as my black lace pointed toe flats. My cardigan and tights are both from H&M. Lastly, my vintage white hardcover purse is from a little vintage shop in a town 75 minutes down the highway from my city. I really like this outfit, I think it's super cute and dressy enough for a fancy brunch while not being too over the top. Let me know what you think!

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn

Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Chatty Tuesday | May 19, 2015

A Little Spring/Summer Haul

I have noticed recently that the bottom of my closet has become filled with bags. I found myself buying more and more things for the upcoming summer months, and also some things for now that will help me to prepare for the summer months. So, I thought, 'why not share what I've picked up'? Hence, today's chatty Tuesday will be dedicated to my Spring/Summer haul.


I picked up these three tanks from Ardenes during a 3 for $15 sale. The white one is a simple basic white tank but it has a little bit of structure at the top and under the arms which I much prefer over a standard white tank. The middle, floral tank has thick straps and a super cute pattern which I really love. The third one is definitely my favourite. It's a gorgeous pastel pink with cute lace around the chest and under arms that continues up into lace straps.

I got these two shirts from Ardenes as well during a buy one get one 50% off sale. The first one is a mint and white striped tank with three buttons at the top of the front and a little keyhole back. The second one is a very similar style only it is in a very bright coral and instead of having a scoop neck it is a little bit more of a V shape.

I picked up a couple of bras from La Senza. They were also having a sale; buy 1 for $16.50 or buy 2 for $12.50 each. I obviously, as a bargain hunting girl, went for the second option. The first is a pale, pastel orange. It is a simple cotton bra because during the hot summer months I really don't want any bra that isn't cotton as I find when I begin to sweat that things like lace and silk are quite irritating. The second bra is also cotton and is just a plain nude with removable straps that I picked up in lieu of wedding season.

These three items are from Winners. The first is a pastel purple baby doll style top and was a steal at $8.00. I love that this is a longer shirt so I can wear it with leggings. The second is a teal dress with a very summery floral pattern. It was also an absolute bargain at $11.00. The third item is a pair of shorts. I love how loose fitting they are, and I really like that they have the draw string belt detail as I think it's so cute. They are high waisted so I can definitely imagine these with a cute tank tucked in and gladiator sandals. These were very reasonably priced at only $13.00.

Makeup and Nails

These three things are the only items I picked up in this category so far for summer (shame on me). The two nail polishes are by Revlon (charming and eclectic) were $7.99 each at Shoppers and I think they are such gorgeous colours for the spring and summer seasons. I picked up this little eye shadow palette for only $4.99 at Shoppers. I've never heard of the brand Essence before, but I figured if it sucks it was only $4.99 and if it's great than it was only $4.99! Ha ha ha. Also, the colours are beautiful for spring/summer.

Skin Things

 I went a bit crazy in The Body Shop as they were having a buy 3 get 3 free sale and that's a sale I can NOT pass up. The first thing I added to my basket was the cocoa butter creamy shower wash ($9.00). Not only does it smell amazing, but my skin responds very well to the moisturizing properties of cocoa butter. The second thing I bought was the body butter also from the cocoa butter range ($21.00). This stuff leaves my skin so hydrated and so soft and it also helps with scars and stretch marks! The third thing is another flannel ($7.00). I am such an advocate for The Body Shop flannels; they can't be beat. On to the second row, the fourth thing I bought is another repurchase and it is the hemp hand protector ($20.00). I have one of these in every purse I own and in my till at work. I absolutely love how moisturizing it is, how fast it soaks into the skin, and also that I feel when I use this, even after I wash my hands, my skin still feels so moisturized. The fifth thing I got was the aloe soothing gel ($19.00) which will be perfect for the up coming summer months when it is inevitable that I will get burnt at least once despite lathering sun screen on. The last thing I added to my basket was the vitamin E sink-in moisture mask ($23.00). I haven't ever tried this, but I know my skin responds very will to vitamin E so I'm sure I will get on with this just fine. 

So that's all that I've picked up in the past couple weeks to prepare myself for spring and summer. I still plan to get a couple more cute summer dresses as well as some flats and accessories.

Thanks for reading, xo, Katelyn